“Males do all the hunting while the female is on eggs (about 30 days) and probably most of the hunting during the first 2 weeks after the young hatch. As the young get larger and more demanding, the female will join in the hunting. Young are dependent upon their parents roughly through June. In July they leave home and wander only a few miles away in search of good habitat not already occupied by Barred Owls.”
This quote is from Rob Bierregaard’s Barred Owl website. Today, Caroline and I found the chicks in the cavity but Mom was no where to be found. A passerby said she saw an owl at Bridge #7, nearby. The chicks seem to be much bigger now, and may be branching soon. Is it possible that the parents would leave them for longer periods of time in order to encourage branching? Perhaps that’s a stretch. It could be that both parents are just really busy hunting to feed the growing demands of these chicks.
Another question. Is it possible that Barred Owl chicks are born with full-grown bills that their bodies must catch up to? Maybe its my imagination but it certainly appears to be the case. What a bill.